Some start their piano studies at the age of three, but for Maxim
Bernard it began at 13 when he discovered his passion. His development
has been phenomenal; by age 18 he was invited to perform Beethoven’s
magnificent Fourth Piano Concerto with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra!
completing his studies at the Québec Conservatory of Music
with the pianist Suzanne Beaubien-Lowe, his driving passion led
him to further them with one of his idols, the pianist André
Laplante at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of
Music in Toronto, where he received his Artist Diploma. Maxim
fell in love with the romantic style of interpretation. The great
pianists of the past such as Cortot, Horowitz, Rachmaninoff and
Friedman are for him a strong source of inspiration.
2004, he met the legendary pianist Menahem Pressler at the Orford
Arts Centre and the chemistry between them was immediate. After
hearing Maxim play, Pressler declared “I believe in your
future!” A few months later, Maxim was on his way to the
University of Indiana to study with his new mentor, where he earned
both his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Piano Performance.
He developed his unique style, and music has become for him a
spiritual experience. His sensitivity, his personal touch, and
the contagious spontaneity he brings to his interpretations combine
to make him an exceptional pianist.
has been a prize winner at many competitions, including the CBC
Young Artists Competition and the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale
Competition. He was the first-prize winner at the Indiana University
Jacobs School of Music Concerto Competition with his interpretation
of Brahms’ First Piano Concerto. In 2006, his career was
launched after he won the prestigious International Stepping Stone
of the Canadian Music Competition.
taught for five years at Indiana University and his qualifications
led him to serve on juries of many music competitions throughout
Bernard is a polyvalent musician who adores challenges. That is
probably why conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin asked
him to learn Ginastera’s challenging Second Piano Concerto
in order to perform the Canadian premiere of the work with the
Orchestre Métropolitain of Montreal at the Maison Symphonique
de Montréal. The critic Claude Gingras from La Presse wrote:
“The pianist was entirely up to the onerous task, both in
power and in introspection. The conductor and orchestra were in
perfect synchronisation with him and the spectacular result inspired
a long and enthusiastic ovation from the hall.”
Maxim greatly appreciates playing with orchestras. We heard him
with the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, the Orchestre
Philharmonique du Nouveau Monde, the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra,
the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra and Les Violons du Roy, to
name just a few.
the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Maxim spent the
past year in Germany. This stay provided him with the opportunity
to give recitals in Cologne and Paris. He looks forward to his
debut in Brussels in 2016 where he will perform a recital in the
great hall of the Centre for Fine Arts.
constantly searches for original ideas for his innovative thematic
concert programs. His concert “1914-1918” continues
to fascinate the public. For the coming season, he wishes to celebrate
the career of one of his favorite musicians, Vladimir Horowitz.
Maxim will recreate the program that the legendary pianist played
in Moscow in 1986 on his return home after a 60-year exile.
also has an interest in languages; he speaks French, English and
German and plans to learn Italian in the near future.